Monthly Archives: February 2016

Start Making Tracks…

Family Forest Segway

The combination of warmer days and lighter evenings can only mean one thing: spring is in the air!

The signs of spring are all around us – we can see them, sense them, smell them and hear them. We’re looking forward to March not just because it’s the start of spring, but because it marks the return of our Forest Segway Experience!

Our all-terrain Segways have been hibernating through the winter but they’ll soon be unleashed out onto the forest floor once again. Our Forest Segway Experience is perfect for people looking for an awesome adventure with a down-to-earth twist, or for people who have booked-in for a Tree Top Adventure and want to carry on the fun!

Go Ape Forest Segways… And what better time to cruise the forest than with your family or buddies rolling beside you?

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and you’ll (hopefully) have the mild, spring sunshine beating down on you.

It costs just £35 for an hour of off-road fun – that includes a safety demo from one of the Go Ape tribe plus a brief practice session (if you’ve never hopped aboard a Segway before, it might take you a couple of minutes to find your balance). Then, once we’re confident you can ride solo, you’ll be free to roam!

Your Segway adventure will take you right into the heart of the forest.

You’ll navigate around the trees via simple pathways and some testing trails that’ll require good balance and full concentration. Don’t forget to stop (or at least slow down) to appreciate what’s around you. And if you’re quiet enough, there’s a good chance you’ll spot some wildlife!

When your adventure is up, you’ll cruise back to the Segway base where a certificate with your name will be waiting for you. And then what? You could move from rolling around to monkeying around in the trees for a couple of hours on one of our Tree Top Adventure courses. Or if you prefer to be a little closer to the ground, you might chose to explore more of the forest by foot or bike (we hire mountain bikes at our Black Park Country Park site).

There are just a few rules for our Forest Segway Experience: riders must be aged 10 or up, weigh more than 7 stone and less than 19.5 stone. Kids aged between 10 and 15 years old must be supervised by an adult. We also ask that you dress appropriately for the forest adventure; wear closed-toe, flat shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting muddy, which is a high possibility in this weather!

Our Forest Segway experience is available at eleven Go Ape sites across the UK. For more information, or to book your adventure, head over to the Forest Segway page.

Books that inspire adventure!

Books that inspire adventure

Novels at the ready…World Book Day is less than two weeks away!

Described by UNESCO as a ‘worldwide celebration of books,’ World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries across the globe. It’s a celebration not just of books, authors and illustrators, but also a celebration of our love of reading!

World Book Day falls on Thursday, 3rd March this year. The aim is to get kids reading confidently and together – but who said adults can’t join in the fun, too?!

Here at Banana HQ, we’ve been thinking about books that have inspired us to live life adventurously (the Go Ape motto, as you know). The books that opened our eyes to what’s out there and encouraged us to go and experience it for ourselves!

Bookworm or not, here’s a list of page-turners bound to give you and your little ones serious wanderlust:

For the little ones…

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! ­– Dr. Seuss

You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy a Dr. Seuss novel. In fact, many of our favourite quotes come courtesy of the zany wordsmith, such as “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!” and “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a book about travelling to faraway lands, reaching new heights and seeing new sights! It addresses the fact that not everything goes to plan in life, but that all those mishaps are simply part of the adventure!

Mirror – Jeannie Baker

This picture book comprises two stories designed to be read simultaneously. The stories focus on two young boys – one from Australia and one from Morocco – who lead distinctly different lives but are in many ways very similar in the values they share.

This books can help open kids’ eyes to the different cultures that exist around the world, hopefully inspiring them to get out them and experience them one day…

James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

Fruity, fun-filled and (at times) frightening, James and the Giant Peach is the story of one boy’s cross-world adventure with seven magical garden insects. It teaches kids another one of Go Ape’s mottos: the best adventures are shared adventures!

Fun fact: Roald Dahl was initially going to write about a cherry in the story, but he ended up choosing a peach because he said it is “prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry.”

Not For Parents – Lonely Planet

Not For Parents is a series of non-fiction books aimed at budding travellers aged 8 and up and written by the globe-trotting team at Lonely Planet. Their aim? ‘To open up the world to a whole new generation of adventurers.’

The books cover countries, continents and several cities across the globe and address those all- important questions such as: Why are New York taxis yellow? Did the ancient Romans wear underpants? Where can you see the infamous Platform 9 ¾ for real?

And for adults…

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

This book – which tells the story of a young shepherd who travels from Spain to Egypt – highlights the importance of following your heart and dreams. It’s a real eye-opener, teaching the reader to embrace life. Our favourite quote: “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

On the Road ­ – Jack Kerouac

A timeless travel book written by Jack Kerouac; an author famed for his gripping, spontaneous prose. The book is based on the adventures Jack has as he travels across America – the people he meets, the things he sees and experiences. This book has one overarching message: adventure makes you a better, stronger and more confident person.

Tracks – Robyn Davidson

A tale of sheer bravery and determination, Tracks is a factual account of one woman’s solo trek across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback. Though, she’s not totally solo – four camels and dog are also in for the ride.

Davidson explains in her memoir: “The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.”

What books have you read that have inspired you to live life adventurously?

The signs of spring…finally!

About Go Ape

Winter, it’s been a pleasure.

No really, we don’t mean it sarcastically. There’s a lot to love about the chilliest season of the year – the festivities, the frost and the snow, wrapping-up warm and heading out for a crisp winter’s walk, snuggling by the fire when you return. And you don’t need to get up at some ridiculous hour to be able to appreciate a stunning sunrise, either!

Yep, winter certainly is a magical season. But it’s nearing its end and that can only mean one thing: springtime! Spring hasn’t sprung just yet but the Go Ape tribe has been noticing signs of it in forests across the UK – slight changes in sounds, smells and colours.

Some of our favourite springtime signs are…

Birds singing

Spring is in the air, and don’t the birds know it! Our fine, feathered friends have begun singing to us from dusk ‘til dawn – they’re the soundtrack to our forests. Migrating birds will be returning to the UK from milder climates soon too; chiffchaffs from mid-March, swallows from mid-April and swifts from early May.

Daffodils and bluebells

Spring transforms the green (and sometimes muddy-brown) countryside to a vibrant sea of colour post-winter. Daffodils – the archetypical British flower – make their return, while violet-blue bluebells begin to bloom again. The UK is most beautiful in the springtime, there’s no doubt about it.

Blossom

As well springtime adding splashes of yellows, blues and purples to the countryside, ornamental cherries in bloom give gardens and orchards a rosy-pink hue. When the petals fall and blanket the ground, it looks like something from a fairytale book.

Bees

Bees, like us, can’t get enough of springtime in bloom. Honey bees and bumble bees find the nectar truly irresistible, spending their days buzzing around gardens and meadows pollinating every plant in sight. A bee’s buzz is a true sign that spring is just around the corner.

Spring lambs

It’s a busy time of year for farms across the country, as they prepare to welcome sprightly spring lambs into the world. Soon enough, the fluffy newborns will be dotting the countryside – see if you can spot any on your next walk.

Wild garlic

Vamps will be steering clear of the UK’s woods and forests over the next few months, as wild garlic begins to grow in abundance. Let your nose guide you to the plant; you can pick the leaves to use in cooking as a milder alternative to garlic bulbs.

Seeing any signs of spring yet? If you book a Tree Top Adventure at Go Ape, you’re bound to notice a few – the birds singing as you climb up the high ropes, a garlicky smell as you cross our obstacles, a view of blooming flowers and blossoming trees from way up high. We’re now officially back open for monkey business, so come celebrate the start of spring with us!

Reach new heights!

Reach New Heights At Go Ape

Go Ape Tarzan SwingIt’s been a long time coming but our forest doors are finally open for (monkey) business – hurrah!

Our aim here at Go Ape is to inspire others to live life more adventurously; to open people’s eyes to the fun that can be had when they step outside their comfort zones – to encourage people to be bold and brave in order to discover their true potential!

So, are you ready to reach new heights?!

If you come hang with us at Go Ape, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. If you’re a newbie, there’s a good chance your jaw will drop when you first lay eyes upon one of our obstacle courses. Believe us when we say that it feels much higher when you’re up there!

But, fear not. Tree-top trembles in the form of wobbly legs and shaky palms are completely normal. Hauling yourself up the (seemingly endless) initial rope ladder is always the scariest part, and so is crossing the first obstacle with the ground far, far beneath you (around 35 feet below you, in fact).

In no time at all you’ll start getting into the swing of things (quite literally).

Those trembles will start easing off and the whole height thing won’t both you anymore. Your inner Tarzan will be unleashed and you won’t want to come down!

If you’ve already Go Ape-d and want to be taken to even greater heights, why not check out the Tree Top Adventure in London’s Trent Park, which reaches a towering 16 metres at its highest point? Or you could head to Whinlatter Forest in Keswick, which is home to the highest Go Ape in the country!

If you really want to reach new heights, then you’ve got to take a trip to Grizedale Forest.

Zip Trekking AdventureNot only does it boast our highest zip platform (zip 5 starts 18 metres above ground, maximising air time), but it’s also where you’ll find our one and only Zip Trekking Adventure!

Tackling tree-top obstacles is one thing; soaring above the dramatic Douglas Firs of Grizedale Forest, with stunning views of the valley, is another! Instead of hanging out in the tree-tops, you’ll be flying over them via a tandem of seven zip wires! Sound fun? Of course it does!

If you go on a Zip Trekking Adventure, you’ll cover around 3km of ground and will be in the air for around 2 hours in total – that’s plenty of time to master the art of human flight!

As well as enjoying zip, after zip, after zip, a Zip Trekking Adventure includes a 20 minute hike through one of the UK’s most dramatic forests, plus a ride in one of the Go Ape Land Rovers, up winding mountain roads to the first zip line.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your zip-tastic Go Ape Adventure today!

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